Georgia residents should know that there are a number of ways that a collision can occur between an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle. There are at least five extremely common causes of truck accidents, the first being driver error. Truckers may speed, drive drowsy or be negligent in some other way. However, studies show that in 81% of truck crashes caused by driver error, it’s the passenger vehicle driver who is to blame.
Second, truck accidents can be caused by bad weather. Truckers who have not been trained on proper braking techniques may skid, hydroplane or jackknife on wet, icy and snowy roads. Third, truckers may neglect to maintain their trucks and even fail to inspect them before every shift. Worn brake pads and cracked windshields, if left alone, raise the risk for a crash.
Equipment failure is another frequently reported cause of truck crashes. In some cases, it is the fault of the trucker, but in other cases, the equipment manufacturer may be to blame for making a defective or dangerous product.
The last common factor concerns cargo loading and securing. There are industry-specific rules as to the dimensions and weight of cargo, and they are meant to prevent roll-over accidents. Rules on securing are meant to keep cargo from falling out on the road.
The innocent victims of truck crashes are eligible for compensation under personal injury law, but several requirements must be met. In the event that plaintiffs were partially to blame for their injuries, such as by failing to wear a seat belt, then the courts will determine the degree of fault. This will proportionately lower whatever the plaintiffs recover in damages. To ensure a fair settlement with the trucking company, then, victims may want to hire a lawyer.